ESTERO, Fla. – In front of a sellout crowd of 7,399 Saturday night at Hertz Arena, the Florida Everblades fell short to the Newfoundland Growlers in the rubber game of a three-game series by a final score of 3-1.
In the first period, both teams found success off power plays with all three goals coming off man advantages. For Newfoundland, Brett Budgell found the goal at the 6:34 mark, while Jonny Tychonick put the Growlers ahead 2-0 just 66 seconds later. Sean Josling got the Everblades on the board with the first of two goals at 11:25.
On the goal which pulled the Blades within 2-1, John McCarron picked up his 207th regular-season assist as an Everblade, matching Tom Buckley’s career record.
In a quiet second period, defenseman Michael Joyaux tallied the only goal of the frame at 13:24, restoring Newfoundland’s two-goal lead by a 3-1 count.
The Everblades dominated the third period, outshooting the Growlers 25-4, but could only manage one goal. Josling’s second goal of the game at the 18:59 mark off assists by Cam Darcy and Ted Nichols, trimmed the deficit to 3-2 and closed out the scoring.
Florida outshot Newfoundland 43-22 in the contest. Cam Johnson made 19 saves for the Blades and suffered a hard-luck loss. His counterpart Dryden McKay registered 41 saves for the Growlers.
The Everblades (34-20-4-4) will return to action on Wednesday, March 29 with the first of a four-game road trip, skating against the Atlanta Gladiators in Duluth, Georgia at 7:00 p.m.
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The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Florida Panthers and the AHL's Charlotte Checkers.